Betreff: [emfacts] Campaigns against Masts by schools hots up in the UK (From Yasmin Skelt)
Von: Don Maisch
Datum: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 08:01:26 +110

Thursday 11 November 2004
3 Investigates: Phone Masts
9.00-9.30pm BBC (3) Choice The mobile phone industry has become one of Britain's biggest money spinners - but as much as people love their mobile phones they hate the masts which make the technology work. Complaints about mobile phone masts are the number one issue that constituents bring to their local MPs. When the government announced plans to sell off licences to operate '3G' phone services, the mobile companies sensed vast profits, splashing out £22 billion for them. A year later the companies also signed up to an industry wide document promising to make '10 commitments' to ensure open, honest and transparent business dealings with the public. They also pledged to consult with schools when masts were erected nearby. 3 Investigates has undertaken the largest ever survey of the proximity to schools of mobile phone masts. The survey, the first of its kind, plots every school in Britain and measures how many masts are nearby as well as questioning schools as to whether they had been consulted about new 3G masts being put up nearby. The results make for damning reading and reveal how the phone industry has been systematically breaking its own codes of conduct and the ten commitments have gone out the window. The investigation has also uncovered evidence from a whistleblower which reveals how one mobile firm hatched a plot to secretly install new 3G masts on publicly owned buildings. Leaked emails detail the plan and how they covered their tracks. Karen Rosine, 0208 5768367 ******************************************************************************** Press release from: Campaign Against Masts Put Up near Schools (CAMPUS) 12000 phone masts hanging on outcome of Harrogate Court of Appeal test case (10-12 November 2004) First Secretary of State v T-Mobile, Hutchison and Orange Contact Peter Brooks, (H) 01423 523 393,, The case involves three schools (two primary and one high), the siting of a shared mast and the contentious issue of health. The outcome will set a national precedent and impact on up to 12000 planned mast sites. The Local Planning Authority (Harrogate) refused planning (visual amenity) and this was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate on appeal (health). The High Court quashed this judgement and the Secretary of State has taken the case to the Court of Appeal as appellant. The Secretary of State case is that health concerns can be taken into account as a material consideration at the planning stage and that this can override the certificate of compliance and we fully support this argument. The grounds and buildings of each school lie within the beams of greatest intensity that the proposed mast will emit and this is a direct contravention of Rec 1.42 of the Stewart Report which also advocates the use of the precautionary principle. The local community, led by CAMPUS (formed in response to the High Court judgement), consider there to be a significant risk to health associated with this case and support the Secretary of State in this appeal. This is evidenced by the turnout at a march (19 Sept), an information meeting (4 Oct) and the delivery of a petition to Downing St (20 Oct) all of which has been reported in local and national media. Our action has the full support of our council and MP, Phil Willis. We intend to be present on the last day of the Court of Appeal hearing. Non-thermal issues (pulsing) are thought by many experts to trigger adverse health effects in some people at levels below those set by the international guidelines that only address the thermal issues. The young are our greatest asset and are at most risk - we have a duty of care to provide some level of protection in view of the uncertainty that surrounds the technology and the perceived threat to health until such time as it can be shown, beyond reasonable doubt, to be safe. The European Union Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC seeks "to protect the general public from electromagnetic fields" demonstrates the concern felt across Europe but UK implementation of this recommendation remains under consideration. What confidence can a community take from an industry that self certifies its own technology? On 22 October 2004, the Planning Inspectorate apologised to a community (Bloomfield Rd, Bath) for not having taken health considerations into account which further supports this appeal case. ******************************************************************************* BBC News Publicity Nearly one in ten schools in the UK have mobile phone masts nearby and in 76% of cases schools have not been consulted on 3G masts, a new survey reveals New research reveals that nearly one in ten schools in the UK have mobile phone masts nearby - and despite industry commitments to consult schools on 3G masts, in 76% of cases the mobile phone companies surveyed have failed to do so. The survey to be unveiled on 3 Investigates: Mobile phone masts (tx: BBC THREE, 11/11/04, 9pm) mapped every school in the UK and measured how many phone masts (macro and micro*) were nearby. The results show that out of a total of 26532 schools in the country, 2350 (8.9%) have at least one macro mast within 50-200m of a school, where the emissions from the masts are usually at their strongest. In total there were 4091 mobile phone masts within this range. The worst case was that of Soho Parish School in central London with a total of 27 masts nearby. In central London every school has a mast within 200m and St George's Hanover Square C of E Primary School in London had 13 masts within the earmarked zone. The Isles of Scilly had no masts at all. Rachel Earnshaw, headteacher at Soho Parish School said: "I think it's very worrying. We don't know what the long term effect of these masts may be." Janet Summers, headteacher at Friar's Primary School in south London added: "I don't think it is acceptableŠwe have got charge of other people's children - taking charge of them and meeting health and safety regulations elsewhere. But we can't stop the airwaves coming in." In 2001, shortly after the 3G licences were awarded to the phone companies, the industry signed up to 'Ten Commitments' to ensure open, honest and transparent business dealings. They pledged to consult with schools when 3G masts were due to be erected nearby. However the BBC THREE survey shows that on average the industry has failed to consult on the erection of 3G phone masts in 76% of cases surveyed. 3UK and T Mobile had not consulted in 75 % of cases and for Vodafone the figure rose to 80%. This is despite Government recommendations that masts should not be put up too near to schools without the schools being consulted. The survey found there were 695 schools with 3G masts within 50-200m from the school which have been put up since 2001 after the Ten Commitments were published. A breakdown of the results by company shows: 3UK: … own 462 3G masts within 50-200m from schools. … 423 different schools have 3UK 3G masts within 50-200m. … 254 schools of these schools responded and 191 (75%) had not been consulted. Vodafone: … own 171 3G masts within 50-200m from schools. … 147 schools have Vodafone 3G masts within 50-200m. … 81 schools of these schools responded and 65 (80%) had not been consulted. T-Mobile: … own 155 3G masts within 50-200m from schools. … 129 schools have T-Mobile 3G masts within 50-200m. … 77 schools of these schools responded and 58 (75%) had not been consulted. Malcolm Noble, Secondary Heads Association, told 3 Investigates that the figures were not acceptable. He said: "Of course it isn't acceptable. This is evidence that self regulation isn't working." The investigation team put their findings to the mobile phone companies. 3 UK said it "takes these issues seriously and works to ensure there is transparency." T Mobile said that "It endeavours to provide information and engage with local authorities." Vodafone said it has "worked very hard to make sure deployment teams and agents consult" and claims that some of the researched sites did not require consultation because they were 3G upgrades on existing masts or installed before the rules came in. Others were run by another company that should have consulted on their behalf. ends For more information please contact Karen Rosine at BBC News Publicity on 0208 5768367 For pictures please log onto Notes for Editors: The 3 Investigates team mapped every school in the country to see how many were within a zone of 50 to 200m from any mobile phone mast. The consultation part of the survey looked solely at 3G masts, all put up since the industry made its promises on consultation in 2001. It tested the three operators who have got 3G networks up and running. Most scientists say there is no evidence that links phone masts to health scares. But the Dutch Government last year asked their scientists to devise an experiment to prove masts were safe. They found a relationship between 3G base station signals and the effects on experienced human wellbeing. The British Government's official science body, the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) has said the results are important, and that more research is needed. * A Macrocell provides the main coverage in a mobile network and operates with a typical power output of tens of watts. The antennas for macrocells are mounted on ground-based masts, rooftops and other existing structures. They must be positioned at a height that is not obstructed by surrounding buildings and terrain. Microcells provide infill radio coverage and additional capacity where there are high numbers of users within macrocells. They have lower outputs than macrocells, usually a few watts. The antennas for microcells are mounted at street level, typically on the external walls of existing structures, lamp posts and other street furniture. The antennas are smaller than macrocell antennas and when mounted on existing structures, can often be disguised as building features. Typically, microcells provide radio coverage across smaller distances and are placed 300m-1000m apart. Source: Mobile Operator's Association (MOA)